- THE CARS: CANDY-O 1979: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I can’t recall what I did on Monday but I remember on a Saturday in mid June 1979 going to the record store and for $15 buying three albums- The Cars- Candy-O- Wings- Back To The Egg and Dire Straits Communique. Their first album was better but this doesn’t fall into the disappointing second albums lists- a good album- Let’s Go, It’s All I Can Do, Double Life, Candy-O, Dangerous Type- favorites. Great album cover by pin-up artist Alberto Vargas who was convinced to come out of retirement to do the cover by his niece who was a Cars fan. When The Cars were big Rick Ocasek who did write all the songs got all the ink it seemed but it seems like most of my favorite Cars songs were sung by the late Benjamin Orr. By the way when I got home with those three albums the first one I put on was Wings, then Dire Straits and then The Cars.
- THE J. GEILS BAND: MONKEY ISLAND: 1977: 3 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The J. Geils Band’s last album with Atlantic they would move on to EMI and have their greatest commercial success. I Do which is on this album- would in the early 80s-in a live version become their final hit. Favorites on this-You’re The Only One, I Do, I’m Falling.
- JOE SOUTH: GAMES PEOPLE PLAY: 1969: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: For a brief time in the late 60’s- early 70’s Joe South was one of the greatest songwriters going. Games People Play would win him a Grammy for Song Of The Year in 1970. Gems on this album- Games People Play, These Are Not My People, Birds Of A Feather, I Knew You When, Untie Me and Hush.
- FABULOUS POODLES: MIRROR STARS:1978: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: First off- what a terrible name- Fabulous Poodles. I heard Mirror Star on the Pittsburgh rock station- and went out and found the album. It did have some success peaking at #61 on the Billboard album chart. Mirror Star was a hit in my mind but not on the Billboard singles chart. After this I never heard of the Fabulous Poodles again. They had some credentials- The Who’s John Entwistle produced their first album, for a time they were the favorite band of John Peel the famous English DJ and critic. They counted The Who and The Kinks among their influences. I haven’t listened to this in a few decades at least [but I do have Mirror Stars on my IPOD} The band was quirky- This is a pretty good album- Mirror Stars, Work Shy, Chicago Boxcar, Toytown People, Roll Your Own and B-Movies are highlights.
- CHEAP TRICK: IN COLOR: 1977: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: I discovered Cheap Trick like many did with the Live At Budokan album- after hearing that I went out and bought their back catalog at that time- their first three albums. A great power pop band in their hey day. Five of the songs here would appear on the Live At Bukokan album- I Want You To Want Me, Clock Strikes Ten, Hello There, Come On, Come On, Big Eyes- those plus Southern Girls are favorite songs here.
- THE ROLLING STONES: EXILE ON MAIN STREET: 1972: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: It was my freshman year in college, it was a Tuesday afternoon and I had ten dollars to my name for the rest of the week. How do I use that money? Of course on a record album and I made a wise choice selecting what remains my favorite album by The Rolling Stones- Exile On Main St- one of the greatest double albums of all times.
- THE BEATLES: RARITIES: 1980: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Why has this never been issued on CD? Sir Paul even stated after its release in 1980 that it was ‘quite good.’ I have the American version- there was a UK version also. My favorites are the version of Penny Lane with the extra solo piccolo trumpet at the end, the original wildlife fund version of Across The Universe and the gatefold sleeve featuring the famous butcher cover of Yesterday and Today.
- GERRY RAFFERTY: CITY TO CITY: 1978: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: An out of left field hit- the album went to #1 in America and Baker Street peaked at #2 for 6 weeks and from what I am reading there was some hanky panky going on and it should have been number 1. Have always loved that song- and the album- Right Down The Line #12 and Home and Dry #28 also hits. Other favorites- City To City. Whatever’s Written in Your Heart.
- THE BLUES BROTHERS- SOUNDTRACK: 1980: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: The Blues Brothers Movie was a lot of fun and another thing I liked about it was the music and how they honored musicians they admired- like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cab Callaway, James Brown, John Lee Hooker-all making appearances. Charles and Franklin get cuts on the album. I am sure the appearance of these musicians- gave their careers a boost and introduced them to new fans.
- PHRANC: FOLKSINGER:1985: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: In 1985 I saw Phranc open for The Smiths. She was a great opening act. She walked out and said “My name is Phranc- I am just your All-American Jewish, lesbian folksinger.” I had to get her album- this was her debut album which was out at the time. I figured she would go on to have a good career. I got her second album a few years later and then??Whatever happened to Phranc? Favorite songsLifelover Noguchi, Mary Hooley- The Ballad of The Dumb Hairdresser, a cover of The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll. Female Mud Wrestling and Amazon.
- NICK LOWE: NICK THE KNIFE: 1982: 2 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: Nick’s 3rd album and no covers all Nick songs or co-written. A slow version of Heart- which I liked better as a fast version on the Rockpile album sung by Billy Bremner. Other favorite- Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine, Queen of Sheba. There were no hit singles on this and I really can’t say- boy this should have been a hit- the songs all sound competent but lack the usual Nick Lowe spark that I am used to on the first two albums which were brilliant. I remember being disappointed in this when I got it and of course I bought it without hearing a song on it because it was a Nick Lowe album! To sum up Nick The Knife in one word- flat.
- also listened to the replay of American Top 40 on the 70’s on 7- today’s show was the week of September 2, 1971. A very good week.